the grand tour

One of the formats that the digital era has failed to adequately match is the coffee-table book.

Photographs in particular benefit from a double-page spread with the result that those of us interested in seeing images  to scale or in detail need, on occasion, to have deep pockets.

A new title from the publishers Taschen has an eye-watering price tag of £150, which takes it in to the realm of special birthday or Christmas treat.

But The Grand Tour: The Golden Age of Travel (hardcover in a cardboard box with handle) does appear on first inspection to have the visual contents to justify such a price.

According to the website blurb, the book showcases “vintage travel ephemera from 1869 to 1939” and is “packed full of posters, tickets, menus” as well as “precious turn-of-the-century photochromes.

These striking colour images come from the collection of Marc Walter, who shares his passion and enthusiasm for the project with photo researcher Sabine Arqué in the promo video below

But any lover of travel photography will find images within its pages, which they will enjoy.

Certainly one UK newspaper review I saw featured black and white shots taken in Egypt around 1870 by the celebrated French photographer Félix Bonfils (1831-1885).

They included his well-known Man Selling Mummies – a prime example of how tourists were able to take home an affordable and less macabre photographic souvenir of their travels.

‘The Grand Tour: The Golden Age of Travel – Taschen website

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